Changing of the Seasons – Changing of the Mind?

After a long summer, autumn is here now. This summer had had a slow start in the Netherlands, and when the summer holidays ended and school started again end of August (I know, really early – but that is 6 weeks of summer holidays for you…) many people said there had been no summer at all. But as soon as the kids sat in their classrooms, the weather switched to warm. Switched to hot even. We have had the hottest September since they started recording the weather (1901, if you are in for the numbers) – during the second week we even hit the 30 degrees Celsius. And so we had beach afternoons after school – my kids were even swimming in the North Sea, which they had not done the whole season – picnics in the park, water fights in the garden.

But it seems that at one point the weather realised it was behaving strangely. Temperatures have been going down slowly, and one can feel a difference in the air. We will still have 20 degrees today, but the mood has changed. Autumn is here.

So I spent some timeΒ in the park last Saturday, sitting on a bench on my own, looking at the trees and the grass and the sky. The leaves start to turn yellow, but I think that is more because of the dry weather we had (I have been watering my garden the last weeks, something I normally don’t have to do in September). The sky was still very blue – enhanced by my sun glasses.

I sat and looked and thought.

It seems that especially the change from summer to autumn touches something inside. Β At least inside me. If affects me differently than the other seasons changes do. When winter changes into spring, I am all bouncy and happy, start working in the garden, dream of sitting outside in the sun. When spring changes into summer, I am busy hunting for my summer clothesΒ and the sandals in the cellar, drag the hammock outside and eat salad a lot. During summer I hardly find time for writing blog posts, although I continue reading posts (luckily not everyone is as lazy as me). But when it gets cooler, the air smells of falling leaves and there is that special chill returning to the evening, I start getting philosophical. Suddenly my mind wakes up and starts asking questions. About life as such and my life in particular. About ageing and priorities. About what I am doing with my life.

Is it because the change to autumn already hints at the next change, the one to winter? Not that I don’t like winter – I think every season has its charms, although if I could, I would probably shorten winter a bit. (Maybe having three months of spring and autumn each, four months of summer and two months of winter?) But autumn and winter, they always remind us that nothing lasts forever. Of course after winter, there will be the next spring… but what if not? Would we still like it, embrace it?

As I said, autumn brings thoughts into my head, they tumble around like the leaves in the wind.

But as I look outside, the sun is edging around the neighbour’s house to greet me. It is a bit chilly this morning, but the sky is still blue, in the afternoon it will be pleasantly warm again. So let’s enjoy the beauty of autumn, while it lasts (I am sure we are in for enough of the grey-misty-cloudy-wet days too).

Summer was good. Now choose autumn. And be.


11 thoughts on “Changing of the Seasons – Changing of the Mind?

  1. Personally, I’m excited that this season sparks thoughts generated deep inside you that then are reflected in a blog because that means I get to read them! I have always enjoyed the four seasons and each evokes something different inside of me, with autumn clearly being my favorite. That cool breeze combined with the gentle sun; it makes me pause and think. It gives me a chance to breathe. I look at the beauty around me and remind myself of how blessed life can be, and how too often I don’t acknowledge that fact. And as Autumn fades and winter comes, i get excited for the first snowfall and the hot chocolate, but then I’m quickly ready for spring. πŸ™‚

  2. You are more generous with winter than I … I generally say that if I were re-arranging the seasons I would give winter 2 weeks! πŸ˜€ But yes, autumn does bring about introspection for some reason … I do the same … and more so as I have gotten older. I hope autumn lasts long enough this year for us all to enjoy it, especially after the long, hot summer we have had. I am ready for the relief from the heat, but nowhere near ready for snow, ice and cold temps! πŸ™‚

    • That sounds like the advice my Chinese doctor usually gives me. She says it is utterly stupid to drink (cold) orange juice when you have a cold. You need spicy drinks to warm your chi. πŸ™‚ So I am very much into teas with ginger, cinnamon and hot peppers at the moment. And it does seem to help much better. πŸ™‚

  3. Hope you enjoy autumn. I am a summer girl, and my heart always flutters when winter turns to spring and spring to summer. I do feel like you in the summer, though, like lazing around and really just taking it easy. Here in Australia, we have very mild winters, though. In the city area where I live we don’t get any snow but when the wind blows, it is biting cold. Hope you get more blue skies even though winter is approaching. A blue sky can be so uplifting.

    • Actually, the sky is blue today! πŸ™‚ But it also seems to be the first day of winter – cold, crispy air. I don’t mind much though, as long as the sun is shining! πŸ™‚ It is strange to think that for you, summer is starting, right? Christmas in summer seems a weird thing to a European. I always long for snow in December, but in the Netherlands, we rarely get it.

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